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Phenomenon is a card type used for Planar Magic. It is on oversized cards in the Planar deck and represents one-time effects players may encounter during planeswalking. Phenomena first appeared in Planechase 2012[1] and were revisited in March of the Machine Commander.[2]

The Doctor Who Commander decks introduced new Phenomena cards based on the Doctor Who IP.[3]

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

A card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards in the Planechase casual variant. A phenomenon card is not a permanent. See rule 312, “Phenomena.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 312. Phenomena
    • 312.1. Phenomenon is a card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards. Only the Planechase casual variant uses phenomenon cards. See rule 901, “Planechase.”
    • 312.2. Phenomenon cards remain in the command zone throughout the game, both while they’re part of a planar deck and while they’re face up. They’re not permanents. They can’t be cast. If a phenomenon card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.
    • 312.3. Phenomenon cards have no subtypes.
    • 312.4. The controller of a face-up phenomenon card is the player designated as the planar controller. Normally, the planar controller is whoever the active player is. However, if the current planar controller would leave the game, instead the next player in turn order that wouldn’t leave the game becomes the planar controller, then the old planar controller leaves the game. The new planar controller retains that designation until they leave the game or a different player becomes the active player, whichever comes first.
    • 312.5. Each phenomenon card has a triggered ability that triggers when you encounter it. “When you encounter [this phenomenon]” means “When you move this card off a planar deck and turn it face up.”
    • 312.6. A face-up phenomenon card that’s turned face down becomes a new object.
    • 312.7. If a phenomenon card is face up in the command zone, and it isn’t the source of a triggered ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, the planar controller planeswalks the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action; see rule 704. See also rule 701.24, “Planeswalk.”)

Encounter[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

To move a phenomenon card off the top of a planar deck and turn it face up. See rule 312, “Phenomena.”

List of phenomenon cards[ | ]

Phenomena were originally printed in Planechase 2012 and reprinted in Planechase Anthology and March of the Machine/Commander decks:

Planchase 2012

MOM Commander Reprints

Universes Beyond[ | ]

Doctor Who

References[ | ]

  1. Zac Hill (May 25, 2012). "Rolling Planes". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (February 19, 2023). "A First Look at March of the Machine". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Gavin Sheehan (July 20, 2023). "Magic: The Gathering Showed Off The Doctor Who Cards At SDCC". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on July 21, 2023.